There are greater unsolved sailing mysteries for which science has no explanation whatsoever. I wrote about one yesterday. How can an inanimate piece of line like a Laser mainsheet tie itself into knots with no human intervention?
Logical Litoralis rose to the challenge and wrote a post on his blog on the Science of Knots. Sorry kiddo I'm not convinced.
Apparently a couple of scientists from the University of California (where else?) spent many months and oodles of grant dollars dropping pieces of string into boxes and shaking them around. Surprise, surprise, the string got tangled! I know that. The mystery is how this happens, not whether it does.
One of these two scientific geniuses from la-la-land apparently built a computer program to simulate string bouncing around inside a box and once again, shock, horror, the virtual string tied itself in virtual knots. So what? There is a computer program called Tacticat in which I have proven conclusively that if I make a squirrel start and bang the right hand corner I will win 42.3% of all sailing races. Somehow my percentage in the real world is somewhat lower.
You can tell how far this programmer dude is divorced from reality by this quote from him in a Live Science article. “It is virtually impossible to distinguish different knots just by looking at them.” I rest my case.
Here are two more huge unsolved sailing mysteries that have stumped the world's smartest scientists...
The Great Clevis Pin and Cotter Ring Mystery
This is a clevis pin
These are cotter rings
The cotter rings are used to secure clevis pins. One end of the ring is inserted in the pin hole and then the ring is rotated until the other end of the ring is through the hole.
It should be secure. But it ain't.
For example, the ring in the pin securing the deck block for the outhaul line on my Laser, somehow managed to unwind itself and magically disappear while the boat was sitting on its trailer in my garage for two weeks while I was in Spain. Science would say that this is physically impossible. But it happened.
Then there is the Great Gatorade Bottle Mystery
This is a bottle of Gatorade
Yesterday before going sailing I put a bottle of Gatorade in my sailing bag, zipped it up and placed the bag in my car. It was never out of my sight. But when I reached the launch area the bottle of Gatorade had disappeared. After a (thirsty) afternoon's sailing I drove home and discovered that the bottle of Gatorade had teleported itself out of the bag and out of the car, projected itself across several miles of open water, and landed right side up on the kitchen counter at my house.
Explain that you Californian scientists, I challenge you.